Hands down, the highlight of my first month as the Program Manager of Web Development at NSS was (virtually) meeting web development students in full-time Cohort 50 and part-time Cohort E16. NSS Founder and CEO John Wark led the students in an orientation exercise where they shared past work experiences and personal interests. I walked away from both orientation sessions fascinated by the diversity of careers and life experiences each of these students had before finding common ground as beginner computer programmers at NSS.
Some of the careers students held before pivoting to a web development bootcamp include television production, janitorial services, welding, and database management.
While most now make the Nashville area home, these students come from all over the country (including several from Seattle and a couple from Montana), as well as Trinidad, India, and Ethiopia.
Their personal interests range from the culinary arts -we met multiple pastry chefs and a couple kombucha homebrewers- to fine art, including two ceramicists and a people-and-pet portrait artist.
Both cohorts have the requisite pop culture enthusiasts: one student has been on the front page of Reddit, one is an avid baseball collector, and one loves Harry Potter so much, all her usernames are Harry Potter inspired.
And then there are the life experiences that defy categorization. One of our new students was a child beauty pageant contestant, and his mom still has all his winner’s trophies. One student has two permanent screws in her foot and swears she can predict the weather with them! And one student said he has a talent for “getting bad haircuts.”
I saw first-day jitters ease and relationships form as our students shared their stories and teased one another in the group chat during orientation. Those connections are essential to their success in the bootcamp - after all, software development is a team sport - and the experience they bring to NSS will help them stand out when they begin interviewing for their first software engineering job.
Best of luck to all of our new students in C50 and E16.